Is drinking coffee good for weight loss? Here’s what science has to say

For most of us, mornings won’t be complete without a cup of coffee. But did you know that aside from helping you kickstart your day, drinking coffee for weight loss is also an effective way to keep your body fit and healthy?

Coffee contains nutrients like niacin, potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants, which can help with digestion, muscle function, and heart health. It also contains caffeine, which increases metabolism, increases energy, and may aid in weight loss.

Recent studies also show that higher blood caffeine levels help people stay slim and reduce their risk of diabetes, according to genetic evidence.

Drinking coffee for weight loss is effective, studies confirm

A new study discovered that the rate at which we metabolise caffeine may affect our weight: so drinking coffee for weight loss is effective. Dr Dipender Gill, an Imperial College London clinical scientist, contributed to the new study, which was published in the journal BMJ Medicine.

The study polled nearly 10,000 people who were taking part in six longer-term studies. It concluded that participants with higher plasma caffeine levels had a lower BMI and a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

He stated that previous studies had failed to demonstrate a causal relationship between caffeine and weight, but the new study looked at genetics, making the findings more robust.

According to the PA news agency, “95% of your caffeine is metabolised by an enzyme,” and two genes known as CYP1A2 and AHR influence the function and level of that enzyme.

“So, using these genetic variants that cause people to metabolise caffeine faster or slower, we found that slower metabolisers have higher plasma (blood) caffeine levels, and those with higher plasma caffeine levels go on to have a lower BMI and a lower risk of diabetes,” he said.

“It’s the plasma caffeine that’s doing that.”

According to him, on a population level, people who metabolise caffeine more slowly are more likely to be thinner and have a lower risk of diabetes.

“If you’re a faster metaboliser, you have lower plasma caffeine levels and, on average, you’re at slightly higher risk of diabetes and have a slightly higher body mass index,” he added.

He stated that the current study will guide future research, including whether drinking more coffee can help people lose weight.

Previous studies on coffee for weight loss

Another 2019 study discovered that caffeine consumption may promote weight, BMI, and body fat loss. For every doubling in caffeine intake, the mean reduction in weight, BMI, and fat mass increased by up to 28% across 606 participants.

Similarly, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers discovered in 2020 that drinking 4 cups of coffee per day could reduce body fat by around 4%.

It examined 126 overweight, non-insulin sensitive adults to see if coffee consumption reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

How to maximise the weight loss potential of coffee

Coffee can also increase metabolic rate, which means the body can burn calories faster while resting. The faster your metabolic rate, the easier it is to lose weight.

However, if you’re not careful, your cup of coffee can easily veer into unhealthy territory. If you add sweeteners, milk, and other high-calorie ingredients, the drink could contain 300 to 500 calories.

“If weight loss is the goal, black coffee is definitely preferred,” says Kristin Gillespie, RDN, a nutrition support dietitian for Option Care Health and an adviser for Exercise With Style in Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

“Sugar-free sweeteners, as well as small amounts of low-fat milk,” she says, “should not interfere with your weight loss goals.” She advises avoiding sugar and cream to keep calories in check.

How a cup of coffee can keep you healthy

Your morning cup of joe does more than just get you going for the day, as it also provides numerous health and nutritional benefits to your body. 

Aside from drinking coffee for weight loss, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, it may also help your body process sugar and lower your risk of health problems such as Parkinson’s disease, heart failure, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and colon cancer.

However, it is critical to be aware of what and how much you drink. Consume low-calorie coffee beverages by limiting added sugars and fat content in your drink. Make sure you don’t exceed 400mg of caffeine per day — and avoid it several hours before bedtime!